Immigration makes us great
We have enjoyed enormous benefits as a direct result of immigration. We have been able to attract the best and brightest in the world to come to the USA year after year. We’ve valued diversity and understood that welcoming those from many different cultures contributes to making our nation great.
In recent years, immigrants have ranged from hardworking laborers who harvest our produce to talented research scientists whose dedication improves our medical care to innovative computer scientists whose work impacts much of our modern life.
Halting immigration from multiple countries whose predominant religion is Islam weakens the USA in two distinct ways: 1) This immigration halt plays right into the hands of Islamic extremists … it shows us to be discriminatory and 2) This immigration halt is profoundly unethical given the immense human suffering of civilians in Syria.
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This selective halt in immigration also weakens us in another less direct way; the USA becomes a less attractive place to emigrate for the next, brilliant research scientist who considers where to work, because, sadly, we have now created a climate of intolerance.
And the odds that this selective halt in immigration has an impact that is exactly opposite the intended effect are not trivial. By inappropriately discriminating against predominantly Muslim countries, we likely encourage the alienation and extremism (home grown or otherwise) that this selective halt in immigration is alleged to diminish.
The war on terror will not be won by betraying our own values. Whether the issue is immigration or the issue is torture, ethics matter immensely. If we have no moral ground to stand on, we defeat ourselves from the outset. No technology and no fire power can remedy that.
Don’t let them leave
I read where the United States is now losing more Mexicans, returning across the border, than we are gaining new ones coming here for work. If this is true, our Mr Trump can’t build that wall fast enough. We need our workers! They’re skilled and motivated. Without them, who’s going to pay into Social Security, and make sure my checks still come in every month? Let’s keep the ones we have, Mr Trump. Don’t let them get away!
At our age, we are losing many friends, and it is sometimes difficult to say the right thing.
I wish to share two condolences to me when my mother died in November of 1983. That long ago, but I remember both of the vividly. First I must set the stage: Mom was active in the Republicajn Party in Hillsborough; Rebecca Clark was “the force” in Chapel Hill politics. She was probably the most respected person in her party and the town. Rebecca did not know my mom but knew they worked against each other in their respective parties, for many years.
Her letter to me in long hand was so touching and said so much about that fabulous lady. She did not like to be called Mrs. Clark, or to be called the “Rosa Parks of Chapel Hill.” Quick as a wink she would say, “NO, I am the Rebecca Clark of Chapel Hill.” We became good friends and buddies, so much so that on one occasion I drove my very long, red convertible at the Christmas Parade one year and asked her to ride shotgun.
Former Mayor and Senator Howard Lee and wife Lillian were the grand marshalls. I have never enjoyed anything so much. At age 94, I think she knew the name of every kid and every family standing along the street. She had a wonderful sense of humor, as we drove back to her home she said “Hmm, white boy in red convertible, what are the neighbors going to say?” I also presented her with a Paul Harris Award. She was so grateful and kept trying to “pay me back.” Just weeks before she died she baked me an apple pie and called me at 10 o’clock at night. I went right over. Best pie I ever ate. (She said the secret is the kind of apples you use).
And now to Zora Rashkis. She had a radio or TV show and interviewed me several times. She was so bright, pleasant and made you feel good about yourself. I felt like I was 10 feet tall when I left her.
But her note was so profound I have shared it with scores of friends when they lost loved ones. Here is the gist of what she said, because she could say it much more eloquently that I.
Always remember your loved one, take out that memory and enjoy it often, go to it unashamedly, enjoy, revel, smile, and keep going back to those wonderful memories of your loved one, cause:
No one can ever take them away from you.
Thought you might enjoy this.
P. H. Craig
When are falsehoods lies?
Ruth Marcus’ column “The art of journalism in the Age of Trump” (N&O, Jan. 15) agreed with the Wall Street Journal editor’s statement that journalist should not employ the word “liar” toward the then president-elect and be reluctant with a term connoting “not mere falsehood but intention to deceive.” A liar says “something that’s false,” she quoted that editor. “It implies a deliberate intention to mislead.” Ascribing “moral intent,” creates “the risk” of looking like “you’re not being objective.”
How should we label someone who repeatedly makes false statements with no factual basis? Are they willfully ignorant? Is not willful ignorance a form of intentional deception and therefore a falsehood?
Anyone who repeatedly makes false statements and refuses to stand corrected, is, by definition, a liar. Their moral intent is objectively clear. All Americans, if honest, can point to that person and truthfully say he is a liar for his repeated falsehoods.
Public servants should represent the people’s interest, and that is conveyed through truthfulness. That person has a civic, social and moral obligation to tell the truth and the press has a civic, social and moral responsibility/obligation to report it if this obligation goes unfulfilled. Scripture states, “None are so blind as those who refuse to see.”
Filmmaker says thanks
Thanks to the Friends of Bolin Creek and all the community members that came out to view the premiere of “Bolin Creek Unpaved: Saving Carrboro’s Last Forest,” a movie by independent filmmaker Charlie Morris.
The premiere attracted a crowd that nearly sold out Wynn Theatre at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro. The proceeds from ticket sales were all donated to the Friends of Bolin Creek and totaled over $2,050. Following the screening was a reception in the lobby with the tunes of old Appalachia played by the Bolin Creek String Band as people mingled and discussed the experience.
Overall the communities response to the film was overwhelmingly positive and future screenings are in the works at smaller venues locally. To check on future screenings please follow the film’s journey on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BolinCreekUnpaved/ or on the film’s website at bolincreekunpaved.wordpress.com. To follow what’s going on with Bolin Creek see the site for Friends of Bolin Creek at bolincreek.org/blog/
Come learn from your peers
Peer Learning of Chapel Hill, a nonprofit group for seniors and retirees will offer a fresh lineup of classes this semester. Held at Binkley Memorial Church, 1713 Willow Drive, Chapel Hill, next to University Place. Classes are taught by peers, often retired professors or professionals in their fields.
Come and explore emperors of Rome, the history of the Ottoman Empire, the short story, opera, current global health issues, What Makes Us Tick, travelogues from around the globe, or take part in informal discussions about personal experiences.
Topical speakers inform and entertain on the second Friday of each month and are open to the public. A lively book group is held the second Friday, and informal lunches at local eateries, on the third Friday throughout the year.
The first speaker and potluck of the season will be held Friday, Feb. 10, at 11 a.m. in the lounge at the Binkley Baptist Church. All are welcome. Check the website for details.
Classes start on Feb. 13. Cost is $30 per semester and covers the membership fee and all classes. To learn more or to register, please go to peerlearningofchapelhill.com or call 919 967-5076.
Stephanie K. Johnson
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